Thursday, December 2, 2010

Guest Post: Disney Pools, Fun for All

A few years ago, we were in Walt Disney World for a week and my sister and her family drove north from Port St. Lucie to Orlando to see us and to stay a few days at the Nickelodeon Suites in Orlando. So, we went to visit them and have a meal and swim in the pool. My sister had us come there because the pool was, as she described it, “Like a water park.” Well, it was. The kids loved it. They were all about nine years old then. They had games for the kids and huge water play areas and all kinds of things to do. We all had a good time that day, but I’ll tell you something, if the kids were younger, I don’t think they all would have enjoyed it as much. It was loud, and crowded and very busy. My son when he was younger six or seven (even at eight) would have been intimidated by the amount of people and the noise and size of the pool area. Even that day when he was nine and we were at the pool, there was a contest going on and instead of getting into the action, he hung onto my back and we watched the whole thing.

The reason I bring this up is because the pools at the Walt Disney World resort are different. Yes, like any other resort pool, they can be loud. But they are not huge overwhelming places. For everyone in the family, the pools at any of the Walt Disney World Resorts are a great place for a fun comforting afternoon.

The pools at the Disney World Resort Hotels are wonderful places. All the main pools are guarded by certified life guards. The quiet pools are not guarded, but they are also not as crowded and there aren’t any slides or anything at them. In the summer and any other time that they Florida weather turns and the thunderstorms roll in, the lifeguards do make everyone clear the pool area and make sure no one is in the vicinity of any of the surrounding water areas. All of the lifeguards we have ever had the pleasure of talking to and meeting were all very professional and nice, like the other Cast Members, even though they have to spend their days in the hot sun and really be vigilant.

All of the main pools are large. They all seem to have a great shape to them or a special slide and they all can be fun for the entire family. From the youngest in your family, to those teenagers that don’t want to be seen with you, the resorts’ Main Pools offer a fun time for all. For the teenagers and those that are self sufficient swimmers, there are great slides at all of the pools. The one at the Boardwalk Resort is called Keister Coaster and is 200 feet long. It is shaped like a roller coaster and as you are dumped into the pool, you come out of a clown’s mouth. The Picture here is of my son, John, coming out of the mouth of the clown. I just love this picture, because it reminds me of him going out to the pool from our first floor room, by himself (he was 8). We had no worries about him being there by himself, because of the lifeguards. At the Beach and Yacht Club Pool, the slide is one of the highest at the Walt Disney World Resort. It actually starts across a walk-way from the pool up on top of an old Pirate ship. And then goes back across the walk-way in a flume type ride, until you splash down into the pool again. At Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, the pool is themed as an archeological dig. The Lost City of Cibola Pool has a Mayan Pyramid and a slide.

But what if your little one, or medium-sized one, isn’t a fan of the water slide? What if they aren’t that strong of a swimmer? No worries at the Disney Resort Pools. They all have shallower sections for the new swimmer and also have things in these depths that the younger kids can enjoy. A lot of the pools have features on the side of the pool that squirt water from them. In the French Quarter of the Port Orleans Resort, this is in the form of a Jazz Playing Alligator. At the Pool at the All Star Music Resort it is in the form of the Three Caballeros. These are really fun places to play in the water and are great places to hear some giggles. When we were at the French Quarter, John played under the clarinet of the alligator for what seemed like hours. He just kept laughing and laughing about being hit in the head by the water.

For the smallest and non-swimming guests, most of the Resorts have special play areas right around the pools that are wet areas, providing fun in the water, without getting in the pool. At the Saratoga Springs Resort, the play area has Donald Duck playing in the water with you. The Contemporary Resort has small water fountains that are fun for the little ones to play in. Some of the “kiddie” pools are just a round very shallow water pool that the kids can play in.

For the adults, the resort pools offer two different ways to relax. One is the hot tub/spa. Every pool area has a hot tub/spa for you to sit in. They are great places to sit and enjoy a relaxing soak. On a cool autumn, winter or spring evening, it is very enjoyable to go and sit in the hot tub/spa after a long day in the parks. The other area for the adult guest to relax, by the pool is the Pool Bar. All the resorts have one and everyone is a unique enjoyable experience. The Bars are full service and at many you can even get food. The bars are very relaxing and some of them have specialty drinks that they offer, that are quite good. Another place for the adult guest to have some relaxing pool time is at the resort quiet pool. All of the resorts have them and some of them have more than one. These pools, as stated above are not guarded, but are usually less busy and as the name suggests, quieter than the main pool. These pools are a great place for a romantic swim after the sun goes down.

For the entire family, the Disney Resort Pools are Magical places. They not only offer a great place for a break from the parks and great place to relax, but they also offer something for everyone. We enjoy a break from the parks and the crowds in different ways, but the one that satisfies all of us is going to the pool.

Contributed by Bruce G., husband to Heather, proud father of John, and creator of The Unknown Magic Within Walt Disney World
Click here for another great guest article from Bruce.  "The Best Thing I've Ever Seen at a Disney Park."


  1. I could not agree more that visiting the WDW pools is a don't miss aspect of Disney Planning.

    We recently moved our vacation up by a month to enjoy the pools expecting to maybe get some 80+ days for an afternooon break. Little did we know that the week the chose (Oct 22-28) would a heat wave be on top of WDW with highs in the 90s.

    We stayed at PO-Riverside and loved the slide and pools every day of our vacation.

  2. great article! I love the pools at disney. like everything else in disney, the theming just can't be beat. thanks for sharing!


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